By Jane Gibb
Nothing beats a hearty soup in winter for dinner or lunch. My spicy chickpea is very simple to cook and it will keep you deliciously full.
You might be surprised to learn that Australia is the second largest producer of chickpeas in the world. So you are guaranteed to find local Aussie produce for this dish.
Chickpeas are good for us and tasty as well. They are a great source of protein and dietary fibre. They are a good source of manganese and iron – both essential for healthy bodies. Plus they have low GI – great for stabilising blood sugar levels. Chickpeas get the healthy heart tick as they lower bad cholesterol.
If I haven’t given you enough reasons already, this tasty recipe will convince you of the chickpea soup goodness.
Spicy chickpea soup recipe
You will need the following ingredients:
· 500 grams of organic chickpeas
· Olive oil (8 tablespoons)
· Roma tomatoes (8 whole or a bottle or tin of preserved tomatoes, 500g)
· Italian parsley (large bunch)
· Fresh dill (large bunch)
· Celery (5 stems and leaves)
· White onion (4 whole onions)
· Ginger (1 cubed centimetre)
· Garlic (3 cloves crushed)
· Black peppercorns (2 teaspoon)
· Cumin seeds (2 teaspoon)
· Ajwain seeds (1 teaspoon)
· Green cardamom (6 pods)
· Chilli powder (1 teaspoon)
· Turmeric (2 teaspoon)
1). Prepare the chickpeas
Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain and then put into a heavy-based saucepan. Cover with water (ensure approximately 2cm of water cover the chickpeas).
Bring the pot to the boil and then cook until the chickpeas are tender, but not mushy. Drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid.
To speed up the cooking time I use a pressure a cooker, as it only takes a few minutes.
2). Prepare the ingredients
Chop the parsley, dill, celery and white onion in a blender. Crush the ginger and garlic cloves.
If you use fresh organic whole Roma tomatoes, peel the skin and chop. Alternatively use a bottle of preserved Roma tomatoes.
Grind up the spices – black peppercorns, cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, cardamom pods and turmeric – in a pestle and mortar. Then mix in the chilli powder. Add water to the ground ingredients to create a paste.
3). Make the soup stock
Heat the olive oil in the large heavy based saucepan and sweat the chopped herbs and onion until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger, stirring for a few minutes. Add the spice paste and stir to combine before adding the tomatoes.
Cook for approximately 15 minutes on medium heat until the tomato and oil separates. Blend this stock to form a smooth paste.
4.) Prepare the body of the soup
Place the chickpeas in a blender with enough chickpea liquid to blend, making a thin paste.
5). Bring it all together
Add the chickpea paste to the stock adding enough chickpea liquid to achieve a smooth liquid consistency. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
(Hint: To make a thin soup add more chickpea liquid. If you prefer a thick creamy soup use less. If you don’t have enough chickpea liquid then add water.)
Season with salt and pepper as required. Serve with a dusting of chopped dill and teaspoon of organic yogurt.
Yum! Get ready to grab a rug and tuck into your warm bowl of soup. Enjoy.
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